LIVE UPDATES: Seminoles 5 - Golden Eagles 2 (FINAL)
OXFORD, Miss. (WCTV) - For the 43rd consecutive season, Florida State finds themselves playing in the NCAA baseball tournament and their road to a second-straight College World Series begins this afternoon in Oxford, Mississippi against Southern Miss.
The Seminoles will turn to their ace and ACC Pitcher and Freshman of the Year, Parker Messick, to try and get the Noles a win to advance them onto the winner’s bracket.
Messick is 7-2 with a 3.32 ERA in 15 starts this season but has been touched well as of late: In his last three starts, the Florida native has combined to allow 22 hits and 14 runs (13 earned runs) against the Clemson Tigers, NC State Wolfpack and Miami Hurricanes (ACC Tournament).
He’ll be matched by the Golden Eagles’ senior right-hander Hunter Stanley (6-3, 2.42) who hasn’t faced a non-mid-major team this year but did square off against Louisiana Tech twice this season, allowing just three runs to a Top 25 team who is hosting a regional this season.
A win and the Noles get to kick back, relax and watch Friday’s nightcap for some early scouting between Ole Miss and Southeast Missouri State. An FSU loss and they’ll be faced with an elimination game Saturday afternoon.
First pitch is set for 3 p.m. and can be seen on ESPNU.
Below will be a running a live blog of tonight’s game. We’ll have score updates, analysis, stray observations and thoughts. For up-to-the-minute updates and analysis, be sure you’re following myself and WCTV Sports on Twitter. For updates live in Oxford, be sure you’re following our sports director, Ryan Kelly, as well.
FINAL: FLORIDA STATE 5 - SOUTHERN MISS 2
It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish and the Seminoles finished in a big way to open the Oxford Regional with a 5-2 win over Southern Miss.
If you’re interested, our recap can be found here.
FSU moves on to face the winner of tonight’s game against Ole Miss and Southeast Missouri State tomorrow at 6 p.m.
As for what our coverage plans are, it’ll most likely be Will Desautelle running the live blog tomorrow - I’ll be focused on the goings on in OKC for the FSU softball team as they try to fight off elimination against Arizona.
That’s just a small peak behind the curtain. Anyway, thanks for spending your Friday afternoon with us! An impressive victory for the Noles, who have now won four-straight Regional-round games.
End of 8: 5-2, FSU
USM strands a runner at third after a Will McGillis double, but no further damage done for the Noles.
To the 9th we go!
Bottom 8: 5-2, FSU
Scolaro’s day is done after 1.1 innings of work, and on comes Jack Anderson.
Top 8: 5-2, FSU
You know the only thing this game is missing? A monster Matheu Nelson home run.
This game is no longer missing anything, after Matheu Nelson blasts a two-run home run over the left field wall to extend the FSU lead to 5-2 here in the top of the eighth.
End of 7: 3-2, FSU
Scolaro gets USM cleanup hitter Christopher Sargent to chase low and inside for an inning-ending strikeout, stranding two runners on base for the Golden Eagles.
To the eighth we go.
Bottom 7: 3-2, FSU
Hunter Perdue leaves after facing two batters: A strikeout looking and a walk.
Jonah Scolaro comes on for the Noles.
Middle 7: 3-2, FSU
Jackson Greene works a two-out walk against the new USM pitcher, but not much else doing for the Noles.
Time to stretch in Oxford and there’s a new pitcher in the game for the Seminoles: Hunter Perdue comes in, replacing Parker Messick after six innings.
Messick’s line tonight: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R (0 ER), 0 BB, 5 K, 103 total pitches.
End of the 6: 3-2, FSU
Southern Miss tired to make things interesting in the bottom of the sixth, stringing a pair of one-out singles together, but a flyout and Messick’s fifth strikeout of the game ends the threat and sends the game to the seventh inning.
The day for Hunter Stanley is done. Ben Ethridge is the first reliever of the game.
Stanley’s line: 6 IP, 4 H, 3 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 6 K, 104 pitches
Top of the 6: 3-2, FSU
For the first time tonight, the Seminoles have the lead on their second home run of the inning, a two-out solo shot by Elijah Cabell.
The damage could have been a lot worse for FSU if not for a bit of an unlucky break off the bat of Robby Martin, who lined out to first base and the USM defense turned two, picking off Mat Nelson at second base who took off on contact.
Regardless, it’s a 3-2 FSU lead.
Top of the 6: 2-2
Just like that, it’s a brand new ballgame.
Logan Lacey crushes a two-run home run over the left field wall to score himself and Tyler Martin, who led the inning off with by reaching on a fielding error by USM right fielder Reece Ewing.
It’s a nice little redemption for Lacey, who’s error in the first led to the first USM run scoring.
End of 5: 2-0, Southern Miss
The Golden Eagles are retired in order in the bottom of the fifth, but not without some excitement.
The ESPN crew seemed to think interference was called, but I think Trimble was truly out at first: Either Martin kept his foot on the bag, or the officials say he applied the tag (Trimble tripped over Martin’s glove hand).
Regardless of what the official call was, there’s no further damage done in the fifth and it’s the top of the order due for the Noles in the top of the sixth.
Middle 5: 2-0, Southern Miss
Nico Baldor works the first walk from either side to lead off the inning but there’s not much else doing for the Noles in the fifth.
Well, that’s actually not entirely true: Dylan Simmons and Jackson Greene both flew out to deep centerfield, both barley missing leaving the yard. We still aren’t seeing a lot of hard-hit balls from the Noles’ offense, but we’re starting to see some.
End of 4: 2-0, Southern Miss
USM has their first extra-base hit, courtesy of a Blake Johnson double off the wall in left-centerfield, but Messick works around it to end the fourth inning, collecting his fourth strikeout in the process.
Lets go to the fifth!
Middle 4: 2-0, Southern Miss
Robby Martin has the game’s first extra-base hit and just the second of the day for the Seminoles, but is left stranded as Elijah Cabell chases a high fast ball for the sixth FSU strikeout of the game.
Hunter Stanley is looking really, really good.
End of 3: 2-0, Southern Miss
Messick labored to get through the third inning, throwing somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 pitches in the frame alone, but managed to strike out the side looking after surrendering back-to-back lead off singles.
Middle 3: 2-0, Southern Miss
1-2-3 go the Seminoles in the top of the third.
FSU hasn’t really shown any offensive signs of life: The best hit ball we’ve seen today was the Lacey flyout that went to the warning track not because it was hit hard, but because it kept carrying.
End of 2: 2-0, Southern Miss
Nice bounce back inning from Messick, who shuts USM down in order.
De Sedas, Greene, Martin due for the Noles in the third.
Middle 2: 2-0, Southern Miss
FSU has their first hit of the game, an infield single to third base by Elijah Cabell, but Stanley keeps him there by getting back-to-back swinging strikeouts to end the frame.
He’s K’d three and the Noles still trail by two.
Bottom 1: 2-0, Southern Miss
Not a good start for the Seminoles defensively, who have committed a pair of errors and allowed two runs before an out has been recorded.
Gabe Montenegro rolled a routine groundball to Jackson Greene at second but it went right through his legs, making Montenegro safe at first. Reed Trimble followed with a single, moving Montenegro to third, and a fielding error by Logan Lacey off the bat of Charlie Fischer brought Montenegro home, making it 1-0.
Christopher Sargent followed with a first-pitch RBI single into left field, making it 2-0, USM.
Middle 1: 0-0
Hunter Stanley has no issues with the first three batters of the game, getting a pair of flyouts and a strikeout to end the top of the first without much issue.
Well hello there! For the first time this season, we’ll have some live blog fun for a Florida State baseball game. A myriad of things popped up this year to put a hamper on what we had planned for baseball coverage but we are here in full force for the Regionals and, if things go well, beyond.
But, first thing’s first, the Noles have to go up against one of the Conference USA powerhouse teams in Southern Miss.
We are still just over an hour before first pitch, but we have lineups!
I’ll be captaining your ship today and Ryan Kelly will have boots-on-the-ground perspective, so be sure you’re following the both of us on Twitter for real-time updates and analysis throughout the afternoon.
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